A Missouri couple was photographed pointing weapons and shouting at protesters who were marching to the home of the St. Louis mayor to demand her resignation. This after a news conference two days before on Facebook Live in which Mayor Lyda Krewson announced the names and addresses of constituents who wrote letters calling for the defunding of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.
The demonstration took place on the night of Sunday, June 28 in the affluent Central West End neighborhood in St. Louis, reported CBS News. A video shared on social media showed a white couple standing in their front yard shouting and pointing weapons at the protesters. They have been identified as Mark and Patricia McCloskey, as reported by KSDK.
In the clip, Patricia McCloskey brandished a pistol while her husband held an AR-15 as the protesters made their way down the street. The tension between the McCloskeys, both personal injury lawyers, and the marchers did not escalate past a shouting match. The video was shared on social media where it was viewed thousands of times.
Mark McCloskey contacted KMOV4 to tell his side of the story. He told the station he was having dinner outside of his home with his family when the protesters allegedly broke through a wrought iron gate with posted signs reading “No Trespassing” and “Private Street.”
“A mob of at least 100 smashed through the historic wrought iron gates of Portland Place, destroying them, rushed towards my home where my family was having dinner outside and put us in fear of our lives,” he told the station.
The McCloskeys reportedly told the protesters they were trespassing and urged them to leave. The police say the couple only grabbed their guns because they saw armed marchers who were shouting threats.
“This is all private property. There are no public sidewalks or public streets,” Mark McCloskey told KMOV4. “We were told that we would be killed, our home burned and our dog killed. We were all alone facing an angry mob.”
KMOV4 reported that social media video shows protesters opening and walking through a gate, and that it wasn’t clear when the gate was damaged or by whom. After the showdown near the McCloskey’s reported million-dollar home, demonstrators painted the word “RESIGN” on the pavement in front of Krewson’s home. The names and addresses — full for some, partial for others — Krewson provided are public record, but critics were concerned about the reach of Facebook and its potential consequences for those residents. The video was eventually deleted and McCloskey apologized later that day.
“Tonight, I would like to apologize for identifying individuals who presented letters to me at City Hall as I was answering a routine question during one of my updates earlier today. While this is public information, I did not intend to cause distress or harm to anyone,” Krewson said in a statement on Friday. “The post has been removed and again, I sincerely apologize.”
A spokesman for the mayor told KMOV4 she does not plan to resign.
“She’s apologized, acknowledges she made a mistake and has absolutely no intention of resigning,” the spokesperson said.